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Buddhist-Confucian Dialogue in Pre-Modern Korea


Admission requirements

MA Students. Students should have a basic knowledge of Korean history. Ability to read Korean texts is recommended but not necessary. Students wishing to take this course without these requirements should see the instructor and get approval.


Title: Buddhist-Confucian Dialogue in Pre-Modern Korea
Traditions of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) are very much alive in modern Korea. Its main religions have their roots in the Joseon period, the two main traditions being Buddhism and Confucianism. The aim of this course is to go beyond the discussions that have centered on state/political histories or philosophical or religious thought. This course will take a historical perspective on the social and religious aspects as a way to analyze the Buddhist-Confucian interactions that were played out at various social levels of the society. With this in mind, this course will focus on the dialogues between the two traditions that took place not only in the public sphere but also in the private sphere. An underlying theme of this course will be the Confucian adoption of Buddhism and the increasing “Confucianisation” of Buddhism during the Joseon period.

Course objectives

Students who take this course will: – 1. be able to analyze the inter-religious dynamics between Buddhism and Confucianism as situated in their social and historical contexts of the Joseon dynasty; – 2. critically examine and evaluate the social, political and economic influences on the religious dynamics that took place during that time.


Time and date on which the course is offered or a link to the website.
Deadline for papers:
Mid-term paper – Nov. 26, 2013
Final paper – Jan. 31, 2014

Mode of instruction

This course will be conducted through seminars that involve student presentations and class discussions.

Course Load

  • Hours spent on attending lectures – 2 hours per week x 14 weeks => 28 hours – Reading compulsory literature: 30-40 pages = 5 hours/week => 70 hours – Time to write a paper (including reading / research) => 35 hours
    = total time of 133 hours

Assessment method

Class presentations/discussions – 20%;
Mid-term paper – 30%;
Final paper – 50%


Blackboard is used – Yes

Reading list

A reading list will be provided in class. ### Registration

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